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Associate Counsel - General Counsel

NASW Executive Office, 750 First Street NE, Washington, District Of Columbia, United States of America Req #55
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
To be considered for this position, please upload your resume and cover letter at the prompt.

Founded in 1955, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with more than 120,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies
The Associate Counsel works closely and in a complementary and confidential fashion with the General Counsel and the Deputy General Counsel within the Office of General Counsel (OGC). The Associate Counsel, under the of direction of the General Counsel, assists in meeting the responsibilities of the OGC and the department’s contribution to the overall mission of NASW: Advancing Social Work Excellence. The Associate Counsel provides legal expertise as needed and under the direction of the General Counsel and serves NASW primarily, but not exclusively, in these areas: providing management support for the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), providing legal expertise in the arenas of social work and social justice, assuming the lead in developing legal resources, and actively engaging in the dissemination of legal expertise to members, volunteer leaders and staff across the Association through OGC and LDF initiatives.

Carries out the following as needed or assigned:
  1. Provides legal support and program management for the LDF through activities such as, but not limited to, staffing the LDF Board, researching and preparing articles and webinars for members on key practice-related issues, development of substantive legal research and guidance to be featured in a variety of NASW media outlets (e.g., website, social media, publications, etc.), and preparation of LDF reports, documents, and case summaries.
  2. Assumes a lead role in responding to requests for NASW participation in amicus briefs and LDF grants.
  3. Reports to General Counsel on LDF projects and progress and on other relevant legal developments impacting social work and social justice.
  4. Manages the preparation of the LDF operating budget and is responsible for monitoring and tracking performance against budget, reviewing controls and expenses on a monthly basis, and making adjustments as required to achieve fiscal solvency.
  5. Represents LDF and OGC as a valued legal expert contributor to Association committees and forums wherein legal collaboration and/or OGC input is needed.
  6. Serves as a legal representative of NASW in work with external organizations and/or outside counsel in pursuit of LDF and OGC goals and objectives.
  7. Assists in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating Association contracts.
  8. Works collaboratively with other departments and staff on an array of areas for which legal expertise is required, such as, but not limited to, regulations impacting social work, legislative advocacy and lawsuits in which NASW has an interest.
  9. Provides consultation and guidance to members on practice-related legal issues, responds to staff and member requests for legal research and information and otherwise assists the General Counsel in meeting the responsibilities of the OGC.
  10. Responsible for the successful execution of assigned special projects involving the national office, chapters or other sub-sections of staff on a project basis, related to social work and social justice.
  11. Other duties as assigned by the General Counsel.
  • Internal: Advises and confers with the General Counsel and other Association staff as needed, and responds to requests for legal analysis and information.
  • External: In consultation with the General Counsel, represents NASW to external organizations and individuals and assists in coordinating with outside counsel as needed. Provides legal consultations to members.


  1. Strong professional ethics.
  2. Excellent legal, analytical, critical thinking, and research skills.
  3. Excellent verbal and writing skills with the ability to communicate effectively at all levels, including public speaking.
  4. Strong interpersonal skills, with a collaborative style and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment with diverse constituencies. Ability to generate respect and trust from internal and external constituencies.
  5. Sound judgment, problem-solving skills, and program development ability, including a creative, problem-solving approach.
  6. Strong research and assessment skills and the ability to summarize research and information into clear, organized, factually sound, persuasive and objective documents and presentations.
  7. Strong administrative skills, with the ability to manage a large workload, handle multiple assignments, and meet deadlines in an environment with competing priorities.
  8. Willingness to “roll up the sleeves” to meet the Association’s needs.
  9. Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, web based programs, PowerPoint and online legal research; ability to lead training webinars as needed.
  10. Education, Licensing and Experience:
  11. Requires law degree from an accredited law school.
  12. Masters in Social Work and knowledge of social work, social policy, and/or mental health issues preferred.
  13. Requires membership in good standing of a state bar. DC Bar preferred; must obtain/maintain DC Bar membership upon assumption of position, if the General Counsel deems it necessary.
  14. Requires at least 5 years of prior professional legal experience. Significant experience in the professional practice of social work and/or non-profit association or law firm environment preferred.
  15. Demonstrated experience required in some or all of the following areas: appellate litigation, laws and regulations applicable to social work, legal or legislative advocacy.
  16. Demonstrated supervisory and management experience a plus. 
  1. Results driven: They see the big picture, develop and monitor key performance metrics, and take appropriate risks so as to produce the desired results. They are not content with simply maintaining the status quo.
  2. Strong business acumen: They see opportunities and emerging trends and are knowledgeable about the operations, unique needs, and goals specific to member-driven, not-for-profit organizations. They set priorities wisely and know how to make tough resource allocation decisions, always finding a way to forward strategic initiatives.
  3. Firm, fair and inclusive leadership: They will work with a wide range of staff, colleagues, and members, with a firm, fair, and flexible style that both complements the efforts and supports the needs of others.
  4. Partnership and Teamwork: They are able to build trust internally and externally and must be highly professional, discreet, and accountable. They serve as a strong team member, both at the department and association level.
  5. Organizational agility: They have a thoughtful, respectful communication style that fosters an open environment, enabling thought-provoking discussions and collaborative decision making; able to effectively manage conflict and change within an organization.
  6. Perceptive: They are creative and intuitively recognize opportunities and take appropriate action.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
NASW policy generally requires that all employees complete a primary COVID-19 vaccination series and receive a booster vaccination when eligible. (Employees are not required to obtain an updated (bivalent) booster, which became available in September 2022, if they received a booster previously, but are encouraged to do so when eligible.) If an offer of employment is made, the candidate, as a condition of employment, will be required to provide documentation (such as a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card) showing that they satisfy this requirement. If the candidate does not currently meet this requirement but will in the near future, NASW may be able to postpone the start date to allow the candidate to be compliant with the requirement. Candidates may request a medical or religious exemption for this requirement.

NASW is an equal opportunity employer.  As such, NASW is committed to promoting and providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees.  The selection of personnel, including new hires and promotions, will be on the basis of qualifications designed to ensure appointments of persons able to effectively discharge the duties and responsibilities of their position.  The Association will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression (including transgender status), marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.  The Association will also abide by applicable Affirmative Action requirements mandated by any federal contracts.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Min Hiring Rate $120,000.00
Location on Google Maps
  • NASW Executive Office, 750 First Street NE, Washington, District Of Columbia, United States of America